I tend to underestimate the value of copying. Today I asked my level one kids to draw four pictures from our recent story and to copy appropriate lines underneath them. I found out a lot about who had comprehended which pieces from an embedded story, partly by what they chose, and partly from which version they chose to copy.
What I realized again is that when I ask them to do that, they have to read the whole thing again several times, first to decode it on their own if we’ve been reading it in class as a group, then to remind themselves of what it means, and finally to decide which lines they can draw pictures of, because not all of them are artists, and that means they have to choose carefully (no matter how often I tell them that I’m not grading artwork…still, the drawings have to be somewhat recognizable). The less confident they are as readers, the more often they have to return to read the piece.